In honor of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Division of Youth Services held a Family Fun Night at the San Vicente Youth Center last Friday in an event that drew lots of families to the many activities featured at the event.
Family Fun Night, which DYS did with the help of the Northern Marianas College, Joeten-Kiyu Public Library, and DYS’ other partnering agencies, featured games and other activities for children and their parents, promotional booths, a raffle, free health screenings, and live performances from Hopwood Middle School students, 6LICK S373N Z3R0 Group, and the MHS Glee Club.
“We chose [the San Vicente Youth Center] for families in the community to come out and enjoy because I know some families have never been to the center, and tonight they’re like, ‘Wow, this is really cool!’” said Julian Camacho, supervisor for DYS Child Protective Services. The youth center is in the San Vicente Central Park, between a basketball court and a large hut.
The event had four booths manned by NMC, JLPL, the Childcare Licensing Program, and DYS. Camacho explained that DYS still wanted to maintain social distancing and COVID-19 safety protocols, so they limited the number of organizations present to four.
Three other booths hosted games, gave out goodies and prizes, and handed out pamphlets promoting their respective programs.
NMC’s free health screening booth served as a real-world learning experience for the college’s nursing students. At their booth, a person was able to get their blood pressure and glucose levels checked, and other tests typical of a check-up, free of charge. “[NMC] reached out and they wanted to bring their program here so they can help the community,” said Camacho.
Camacho thanked everyone that came out and explained one of DYS’ newer campaigns: “LOVE.” “Thanks to everybody for coming out and sharing the night with us. Our team says ‘LOVE: Let our voices echo.’ We have so many victims out there, but nobody can hear their voices, that’s why we came up with ‘LOVE,’” said Camacho.
DYS’ next event is on May 8 called Family Fun Day, which will have big trucks and motorcycles on display for children to see and many other attractions. A time and location will be announced soon.